BRASILIA (Reuters) -Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro said on Monday that Vice President Hamilton Mourao will not be his running mate in October’s election, but declined to name his choice for the role.
Bolsonaro, who will seek a second term, said in an interview with TV Jovem Pan that Mourao – a retired army general – will run for Senate in the state of Rio Grande do Sul with his support.
He added that his running mate choice will be formally announced in early April and help him “run the country, not win the election.” It is expected to be his Defense Minister Walter Braga Netto, a retired army general.
“I need a vice president that does not have the ambition of sitting in my chair,” Bolsonaro said.
Far-right Bolsonaro trails leftist former President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva in opinion polls.
A survey by FSB Pesquisa showed on Monday that Lula would win a first-round vote against Bolsonaro by 43% to 29% if the election were held today, with his 14-point lead widening to 19 percentage points in a run-off between the two main contenders.
(Reporting by Lisandra Paraguassu; Writing by Gabriel Araujo; Editing by Toby Chopra and Grant McCool)